Apr42016

D is for Dreaming

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I heard the sounds of machines. Pumping. Breathing. Nearby. And, in the distance. The murmur of voices. Professional voices. Clustered somewhere close. Close enough to hear the occasional word. Phrases. Sentences. I didn’t understand the sentences, the phrases. But I did understand the words. Especially one.

My name. Why were they speaking my name? Why were they talking about me? Why?

I wanted to move. Couldn’t. I felt I was sitting up. Leaning against something. Something was stuck in my left arm. Above the elbow.

I tried to open my eyes. Tried to force my eyelids open. Tried to raise my arm to pry my lids open. My left arm was trapped. Tried to lift my right arm. Trapped. I opened my mouth

Pre-publication Excerpt, Draft, All Rights Reserved – Lyle T. Lachmuth

Mar302016

AFTERWORD

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Every word of this book is true — except for those that aren’t.

  • I knew from the beginning that I had to write the ambulance team as a man and a woman. In twenty eleven I started requesting my patient records. When I reviewed the ambulance records. I found out that the actual ambulance team that treated me were a man and woman and the woman rode in the back with me. Who knows what’s picked up by the subconscious mind. Their dialogue and actions are imagined but the medical data are taken from my actual records.

  • I have acknowledged the physcian specialists who names I know from my medical records. I had lots and lots who cared for me but I never knew their names. THANKS. THANKS. THANKS.

  • The nurses who worked in the trauma and rehabilitation units are amalgamations of several actual people, most names are made up, except for those specifically acknowleged. Many conversations are imagined but the gist of any conversation is accurate.

  • Ever since the resident, I call Elisabeth, told me it was a great idea to write a book and introduced me to other patients on the trauma unit as the “fellow who is writing a book about the trauma unit”, I’ve been compelled to write this book. It took two months to actually get started on the book. I’ve worked on the book since January 2011.

  • Writing the book has been a kind to therapy. Many times I have written while I’ve been in pain from Fibromyalgia. In fact as I first wrote these words I was in pain from Fibromyalgia. It’s been good to have something to distract me from my pain. And, writing is a more helpful strategy than driving into a concrete wall.

  • A couple of the physician specialists who were assigned to my care told me that my recovery was miraculous. I could kick myself for not asking why they felt that way. Most of the time I don’t feel miraculous. But when I compare myself to the patients I knew who suffered motor vehicle accidents, I begin to see how miraculous has been my recovery.

  • Did I or didn’t I deliberately drive into the cement wall. All the evidence suggests I did. I got off easy: I now sometimes have a tremor in my left hand that primarily affects my penmanship. Fortunately I type most documents. The existing tremor in my right hand has worsened. Fortunately I can type and do most tasks if I just focus. I have a slight speech problem with finding words. It has improved markedly and is still improving. Finally, my right ankle is often painful when I walk. At I write this, in 2016, I have no plans to have surgery. Instead I will do physiotherapy. All in all not a bad deal, especially when I think of what could have been.

  • Now, I don’t mean death. For death was what I would have been seeking: an end to pain. No, I again refer to the consequences I might have received. For example, I met and talked to a man in an electric wheelchair who had been in a car accident in Afghanistan. He was completely paralyzed from the neck down and could only move his head and neck. I got off easy.

Is all just a cosmic crap shoot? I don’t think so. But as my Spiritual Mentor, Clarence Thomson, once told me, “God as as much to do with what happened before the accident as after the accident.”

Life continues.

As does death. Since the CRASH: my twin sister has died, my dad has died, and my step mom may as well be dead.

Some day I will be too.

Pre-publication Draft — ALL Rights Reserved, Lyle T. Lachmuth